IRR Transfer for Dependency or Hardship

Army Regulation 140-10, Army Reserve Assignments, Attachments, Details, and Transfers, covers IRR transfers. It details what a Soldier needs to do to request transfer from the Troop Program Unit (TPU) to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) because of dependency or hardship. This article is based on paragraph 4-13 of this regulation; voluntary reassignment for dependency or hardship.

During a soldier’s enlistment contract, a dependency or hardship may arise. The severity of the dependency need, or hardship, may prohibit the Soldier from continuing to meet TPU training and deployment obligations. Meeting these obligations worsens the dependency or hardship.

In order to apply for transfer to the IRR, a Soldier must: be credited with IET completion, have an MOS, and not be within 3 months of the end of his or her enlistment contract.


Many Soldiers have dependents, and are able to meet their TPU obligations. However, there are instances when a dependency or hardship makes drilling incompatible with the needs of a Soldier’s family member.

This may happen as a result of the Soldier’s spouse passing away, or the death of the only other “able-bodied” family member. This could also happen as a result of a change of a family member’s medical or physical condition.

The Soldier, in this scenario, is the main family member able to address the dependency or hardship issue. The dependency, or hardship, focuses on a family member’s need for independent living supports and additional care giver focus.

Family members that need additional attention, and independent living supports, include the intellectually disabled, physically disabled, medically disabled, incapacitating illness, etc. These family members are not able to live independently without adult supervision and support. They need more attention, representation and care effort, then normal.

Doctors, and social services personnel, determine and verify the status of the family member categorized into the “hardship” category. Doctors also determine medical conditions, and the special care and attention required for these individuals.

Children under 18 are included in this category. Although they may be able to do basic day-to-day tasks, they need adult supervision, assistance, support, and care.

If another member of the family is able to attend to these needs, the Soldier is usually able to participate in training, or mobilize. However, if the Soldier is the only one that can provide independent living supports, or who can address the dependency or hardship, that Soldier’s departure creates a hardship for the remaining family members.

In these scenarios, a Soldier’s absence results in neglect. It also could result in the family member not receiving medical assistance support.

A dependency could arise, for example, when a Soldier’s spouse passes away, leaving the Soldier with the sole responsibility of tending to the remaining family members. These family members now primarily depend on the Soldier for their independent living supports. Absence, of the Soldier, risks negligence toward the family member requiring additional care.

Again, doctors are required to determine the disability or ailment impacting dependency, or hardship relating to a disability or medical condition. Affidavits from social services personnel assist in verifying the Soldier’s need to tend to children under 18… Or to tend to adult family members with disabilities.


A Soldier finds himself, or herself, as the sole caregiver, or primary caregiver, for a family member. This family member requires independent living supports. They may have special medical needs. Common categories in this group include children under 18, incapacitated family members, and family members with a serious medical condition.

These Soldiers risk child or adult neglect if they’re not available to render proper care, assistance, or supervision.

Attendance at drill, annual training, active duty for training, or mobilization, creates a child or incapacitated adult care hardship and possible neglect. A soldier may transfer to the IRR to mitigate this risk.


The Soldier fulfills a parent position either through having natural children under 18, or by becoming a step parent for children under 18. The children, or step children, need more support and assistance than normal. The responsibilities, needed to address these supports, overburdens the remaining family members during prolonged Soldier absences.

Physically or intellectually disabled adults, whose disability began prior to their 18th birthday (incapacitated), fall under a similar category as a child under 18. These individuals can be the reason for the dependency or hardship. Doctors make the determination regarding disability.

Children under 18, and incapacitated family members, must reside within the Soldier’s household.

A Soldier experiencing these conditions may submit a packet to request transfer to the IRR.

Sole parent:

Same situation as parenthood, except that the Soldier is the only parent. This Soldier is the only one available to address a child’s, or incapacitated child’s, independent living support or medical needs.

Sole parenthood can result from a birth to a single mother; from one of the spouses becoming widowed; or from divorce. In cases of divorce, the Soldier might be awarded child custody. Divorce and child custody court documents are needed to help support the IRR transfer request.

Family members:

When identifying a dependency, or hardship IRR transfer, only certain members of the family are considered. They include: spouse, daughter, son, stepdaughter, stepson, mother, father, sister, brother, and an individual that was “in loco parentis”.

“In loco parentis” is someone that performed a parent role for the Soldier during the Soldier’s childhood. A minimum of five continuous years, during the Soldier’s childhood, is required for “in loco parentis”.

Have you been awarded guardianship, and the person with whom you have guardianship over risks neglect due to your obligations? Check with JAG, and with your servicing career counselor, regarding moving forward under the auspices of this regulation.

Dependency or hardship requirements to transfer to the IRR:

* The dependency hardship has to occur, or be aggravated, since the Soldier enlisted or reenlisted.

* The hardship has to be either permanent, or long-term.

* The Soldier did everything that he or she could do to address the dependency or hardship condition, while also meeting military obligations, but didn’t succeed.

Unable to resolve these conditions, a Soldier has no other choice but to transfer to the IRR. Transfer to the IRR removes or reduces the hardship or dependency conflict with military obligations; which otherwise would be aggravated by meeting a military obligation.

The following, by themselves, do not justify transfer to the IRR:

* A soldier’s wife being pregnant.

* A soldier experiences a change of family income.

* Inconveniences to the Soldier because of military service.

* A Soldier not being able to get a dependent care plan approved.

Supporting evidence:

To transfer to the IRR, for dependency or hardship, you need supporting evidence. Witnesses can either submit an affidavit or statement. Affidavits usually carry more weight than a mere statement. Documents, like court documents, are also included. So, to improve your chances of getting an IRR transfer packet approved, use affidavits.

The affidavits must address the conditions that created the hardship or dependency.

One affidavit, or statement, must be from each dependent related to the dependency or hardship. If not from this dependent, from someone representing each affected dependent.

The packet needs a minimum of two affidavits from relevant agencies related to the dependency or hardship. For example, if a child has a birth defect, an affidavit or statement from the child’s doctor is required. The other affidavit can come from another doctor, or social worker.

If the child is physically or intellectually disabled, you can use an affidavit from both the child’s primary care doctor and case manager.

In cases of disability, a physician’s certificate should be included. This certificate has to specifically identify the date the disability began, the nature of the disability, and the chances of recovery.

Additionally, you need a document listing family member details. This includes both immediate and extended. For each family member, you need names, ages, professions, home addresses, and monthly income.

This provides the Army with a snapshot of the feasibility, or lack of feasibility, of the Soldier getting support from family members.

The above listed affidavits, from physicians, case managers, social workers, disinterested agencies, etc., must also include an explanation covering the ability of these other family members to provide support.

A major theme to consider, when addressing these other family members, is financial and physical support. If the Soldier, requesting transfer to the IRR, mobilizes or goes on active duty, can these other family members help in any way? If they could help, would their help be sufficient to substitute for the Soldier’s support in the Soldier’s prolonged absence?

Or, would these family members be unable to provide any kind of substantive help, financial or physical? Details have to be provided in the affidavit to support the answer.

Follow these details up with justifications as to why you are the only one that is able to effectively address the dependency hardship issue… And the ramifications, to the dependency or hardship, in your absence. If others are available to help, would their help be insufficient in your absence?

If the dependency or hardship issue is the result of a death in the family, a copy of the death certificate must be included in the packet.

Parenthood as cause for dependency or hardship issue:

The Soldier could either be married, or be the only parent. Affidavits must be provided to support the dependency or hardship issue. Events have to be beyond the Soldier’s control, and these events need to have occurred after the marriage.

Consequently, being present for military training or other military obligation will result in child, or incapacitated family member, neglect.

Affidavits from the Commanding Officer and from the first officer in the Soldier’s chain of command may meet the evidence standard for hardship or dependency due to parenthood.

In cases of divorce, or separation, court documents substantiating award of child custody, for the Soldier, are required for inclusion in the packet.

Examples of hardship:

* Physically disabled adult needing assistance in the home and in the community.

* Intellectually disabled adult needing assistance in the home and in the community.

* Family member incapacitated by prolonged illness.

* Family member that, if left alone for long periods of time, would have a difficult or impossible time addressing a basic need.

This list is not inclusive.


Ensure that these affidavits prove that you are the sole, or main, effort in addressing the dependency or hardship. That, without you to address it, there is no viable alternative to completely address the dependency or hardship.

AR 140-10, Paragraph 4-13, provide the minimum affidavits for each of the situations above. The more affidavits that you could include in the packet, the stronger your case. They must meet the requirements mentioned in this paragraph.

Refer to AR 140-10, paragraph 4-13, for details on what was covered in this article. Paragraph 4-13 of AR 140-10 supersedes this article in cases of possible disagreement.

This is not legal advice. Contact your local JAG for assistance with legal matters.


AR 140–10 Army Reserve Assignments, Attachments, Details, and Transfers

AR 140–185 Training and Retirement Point Credits and Unit Level Strength Accounting Records

Source by Travis Hill

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